Nick Saban Says Alabama Has Had ‘Fun’ Season; ‘You’re Trying to Prove Something’

Nick Saban Says Alabama Has Had ‘Fun’ Season; ‘You’re Trying to Prove Something’

AUBURN, ALABAMA - NOVEMBER 25: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide prior to their game against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)

Michael Chang/Getty Images

As Alabama football prepares to take on the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs in Saturday’s SEC championship game, head coach Nick Saban called the months leading up to it “one of the most fun seasons we’ve had.”

“That transition seeing the players grow and develop has been kind of different than having the expectation that you’re going to win every game… You’re trying to prove something,” Saban said Friday on the SEC Network, per 247Sports’ Mike Rodak.

The upcoming championship contest represents a rematch of the 2021 SEC title game, where the Crimson Tide defeated the Bulldogs 31-24 to earn a ticket to the CFP.

Even if Alabama repeats that victory with a Saturday upset, however, the team is not going to be guaranteed a repeat trip to the CFP.

Alabama is ranked No. 8 by the CFP Selection Committee, and the Crimson Tide could potentially be fighting more highly-ranked one-loss teams, like No. 5 Oregon and No. 7 Texas, for the last spot available in the four-team playoffs.

Especially if the last spot comes down to a choice between Texas and Alabama, the Crimson Tide will be at a disadvantage. Alabama’s one loss this season came at the hands of the Longhorns.

But Saban has argued either Alabama or Georgia needs to be among the final four teams playing. The Alabama head coach told reporters Thursday that not having an SEC team in the CFP would “be a disrespect to the SEC.”

The Crimson Tide coach repeated that message Friday, per Rodak.

“If you look at strength of schedule, if you look at how many games their opponents won, how many games our opponents won— two really good teams are playing in this game, and it should be represented some kind of way on the national level,” Saban said. “Because this is the best conference when it comes how many good teams are in this conference, from top to bottom. That in and of itself speaks volumes about what should get done.”

Before Saban can continue lobbying for Alabama’s place in the CFP, the Crimson Tide will need to beat the undefeated Bulldogs. Kickoff takes place in Atlanta at 4 p.m. ET.

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